Between 18 and 50 days of age, Siberian hamsters were housed either with same-sex littermates, opposite-sex littermates, opposite-sex littermates and parents, or opposite-sex littermates, parents, and a younger litter. When adults, these animals were presented with two 3-8-day-old pups for 8 hr, and their responses were recorded. Rearing conditions did not affect behavior of females. Males housed with female littermates in the absence of a younger litter showed fewer pup attacks and more nesting with pups than did males housed only with other males. Thus, housing with females in the early postweaning period may influence males' later (adult) responses toward pups. Only among hamsters housed with same-sex littermates did males and females differ in their response to pups, a result emphasizing that sex differences in behavior may depend on early social rearing.
|Number of pages
|Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)
|Published - Dec 1985